The Girl Scouts Devoted to Helping Jersey Breathe Easier

Girl Scout Tree Promise, conceived in the Garden State, aims to plant and protect 5 million trees nationwide over the next five years.

girl scout tree promise

Daisy Girl Scouts from Basking Ridge show off their Tree Promise patches. Courtesy of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

For much of the past year, the members of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey have been planted in front of their computer screens. This spring, they committed to do some planting of their own.

With the help of a $5,000 grant, the Girl Scouts spent rainy April Saturdays planting black gum, dogwood, red oak and eastern red cedar trees throughout New Jersey as part of the Girl Scout Tree Promise, a program to plant and protect 5 million trees in the next five years—and help future generations breathe easier.

The program is nationwide, but has its roots in New Jersey with Amanda Daly, Girl Scouts of the USA director of National Outdoor Strategy and a West Orange resident. Daly conceived the initiative following discussions about environmental health and sustainable solutions. 

[RELATED: A Quick Guide to Planting Trees in New Jersey]

Daly and GSUSA see trees as “superpowers” that can clean air and water, cool the planet, and eliminate atmospheric carbon. Tree species are carefully selected to provide a healthy habitat for wildlife and aid local conservation programs.

“After a year on Zoom, the girls are delighted to be out, get their hands dirty, and make a difference,” says Irene Laki, vice president of client relations at Jaffe Communications.

To date, the Jersey girls have planted more than 4,400 trees. They’ve also created a tree nursery at Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough and assisted with a forest-restoration project in Madison.

Read more Jersey Living articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown